Tackling Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse comes in many forms; whether it is physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial.

At Macleod & MacCallum we recognise that sometimes criminal law alone is not enough to tackle the threat and harm of domestic abuse / domestic violence . For many years, Macleod & MacCallum have offered advice to men and women across the Highlands who have suffered as a result of domestic abuse / domestic violence. We also regularly provide legal updates to local domestic abuse / domestic violence prevention charities.

There are a number of civil orders that can be relied upon to seek to prohibit abusive behaviour. The most commonly used protective civil order is an “interdict”. An interdict is a court order which forbids an individual from a certain type of behaviour, for example, contacting you, approaching you, molesting you or putting you into a state of fear and alarm or distress.

The Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Act 2001 gave Courts the ability to attach powers of arrest to interdicts. If an interdict has a power of arrest attached to it, then if the interdict is breached the perpetrator can be arrested immediately by the police if the police reasonably apprehend a breach of the interdict has taken place.

In July 2011 the protection for men and women against domestic abuse / domestic violence took a further step forward. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2011 was introduced to improve access to justice and the protection available for all those who are subject to domestic abuse / domestic violence. The legislation enables the Courts to determine an interdict to be a “Domestic Abuse interdict”. This means if the Domestic Abuse interdict is breached then perpetrator has automatically committed a criminal offence and this offence can be pursued by the Procurator Fiscal without separate Court proceedings needing to be raised by the victim.

In addition to interdicts another protective Order available in Scotland is a non-harassment order. Since the introduction of Domestic Abuse interdicts in 2011, non-harassment Orders have become less common. Similar to a Domestic Abuse interdict, if a perpetrator breaches a non-harassment order they will have committed a criminal offence and can be arrested without Warrant. If convicted of a breach of non-harassment order the perpetrator can be imprisoned, fined or both.

At Macleod & MacCallum we have a team of experienced family law solicitors / divorce lawyers who can help you to decide which remedy is most appropriate for you and we can then guide you through that process.  Our family law solicitors / divorce lawyers provide expert family law advice, in a sympathetic way together with skilled representation in Court.

If you require any further information in relation to protective orders against Domestic Abuse please feel free to contact a member of our family law team on 01463 239393 or by email to family@macandmac.co.uk.

Jenna Thomson

Jenna Thomson
Email Jenna
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October 14, 2015